Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Where to Begin in the Drawing of a still life:
Ideally start with a negative space and/or positive shape that are medium in size, simple in shape (box like or rectangular in shape if possible) and located centrally in the drawing. Ideally this shape should be large and if possible located centrally in your viewpoint of the subject matter/environment. As well, ideally this shape should be located in the middle ground to foreground area. It is unlikely that the first shape can meet all these conditions but try to have as many of those conditions as possible to start that first shape.
Tentatively describe this first shape with restated lines. In the first layer of the drawing use your pencil (and/or by eye) to measure the proportions of basic shapes. Compare the height and width of the initial shape. Typically the first tentatively drawn shape will be the foundation to the drawing, because that first shape will be used to compare proportions of other shapes. At the beginning stages of the drawing compare shapes that are directly beside each other, so that the drawing is progressively building around and out from that first initial shape. Do not obsess on the first shape, once the entire drawing surface has been lightly and tentatively mapped out, then fine tune the initial shape.
Horizontal and Vertical Alignments:
In addition to measuring and comparing proportions to maximize accurate proportions also consider horizontal and vertical alignments of shapes, and the alignments of where beginning points and end points of straight lines are located. These alignments will be very helpful for determining angles, proportion and space issues.
Later Stages of the Drawing:
The strategic placement of detail and the selected areas that de-emphasize detail, will aid in the presentation of space and the over all success of each drawing. Once all of the basic shapes are lightly drawn (considered with some measuring) and you have all of your subject matter covering your paper, slowly observe and depict the subtleties in the shapes with a restated line. It is at this point that you may begin to clarify your shapes by emphasizing a single line over restated lines that describe basic shapes. You may also decide where the darkest line should be placed and progressively allow for lines to become lighter as shapes progress back into the space.
Also when using a single line that depicts all the subtleties of that shape, one should be looking at the the subject matter as much as the paper. There should be a constant back and forth viewing of subject matter and drawing paper. Maintain a single viewpoint by keeping your head in the same position as much as you can. Finally at the later stages of the drawing, consider using a variety of line such as light and dark line, thin, thick, long fluid line, short, curved and organic, rigid and straight, open and closed line. In a single stroke of a line consider quick and slow applications of the pencil onto the paper with varying levels of pressure on the pencil.
Posted by Derek Brueckner at 12:11 AM